Summer weather may be perfect for outdoor entertaining in a lot of places, but sometimes the summer months are just too dang hot in Charleston. The dog days will be coming to a close soon, however, which means we’ll be eager to take our parties back outside. What better time than now to get ready? To make it easy on you, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite tips for prepping the yard for autumnal backyard get-togethers.

  • Tidy up the yard and add a little color. Mowing the lawn is a given, but you should also clean out the flowerbeds, weed the garden, and add a few decorative plants and flowers. Don’t forget to check and see if the patio or deck needs a pressure washing.
  • No patio furniture? No problem! Who needs boring old plastic chairs and tables when you can have beautiful, custom DIY pieces? Some of our favorite materials for constructing outdoor seating are old pallets, wooden barrels, large planters, and giant indoor/outdoor throw pillows. Check out Pinterest for lots of DIY projects that use these easy-to-find objects.
  • Experiment with re-purposing items to create some truly unique features in your backyard. For example, you can spray paint a couple of tires, stack them, and top with a piece of glass or wood to make a really cool table. Lay an old fridge down flat to transform it into a high-volume cooler. You can take this one a step further and build a small platform on which to mount it, or even build a custom crate to surround it.pasted image 0 (1)
  • Imagine toasting marshmallows on a new fire pit! Autumn days might not always be crisp enough for a fire, but evenings can find us enjoying a bit of a nip in the air. Lighting an evening fire is also a great way to ward off those pesky gnats and mosquitoes that show up at dusk, plus, we’ll take any excuse to break out the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows for s’mores! Here are some great tutorials for building your own fire pit using everything from stones to bricks to cement blocks. pasted image 0 (2)(
  • Add some mood lighting. If you have a pergola or covered porch, string lights or Chinese lanterns are a great way to do this. If you love the look but don’t have any overhead covering, a few scraps of lumber will be perfect for creating posts to hang the lights from. Tiki torches and solar or battery-operated path lights are other great options.

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What other go-to ideas do you have for sprucing up the yard for outdoor entertaining? Let us know in the comments section!